A new Baylor study has bad news for art students and struggling entrepreneurs. Instant noodles are probably killing you. The study sought to look into the impact of frequent instant noodle consumption in South Korea, the country with the highest number of instant noodle consumers per capita. As you might expect, eating a lot of instant noodles isn't doing your body any favors.
People, especially women, who consume instant noodles as little as twice a week may be increasing their risk of cardiometabolic syndrome, raising the risk of heart disease and other conditions like diabetes and stroke. "The association between instant noodle consumption and metabolic syndrome has not been widely studied," said Dr. Hyun Joon Shin, the study's lead researcher. "I decided to investigate in order to uncover more distinct connections."
The study examined 10,711 adults aged 19-64 with data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. One challenge was to separate out other indicators. For instance, the research showed, "Participants who frequently consumed instant noodles (≥2 times/wk) and those in the highest quintile of the MP [meat pattern] were younger, more likely to be current smokers, drink more alcohol, be less physically active, and have low carbohydrate intake in both genders."
That presents challenges in attributing risks specifically to instant noodles. Nonetheless, researchers believe that there is significant support for their belief that instant noodle consumption is linked to cardio-metabolic syndrome. "This research is significant since many people are consuming instant noodles without knowing possible health risks," Dr. Shin said. "My hope is that this study can lay a foundation for future research about the health effects of instant noodle consumption."
More research is needed before anything could be considered conclusive, but there wasn't much reason before to assume that $.50 noodles in a styrofoam cup were health food.